Listed below are books received for review over the last two months. Entries include publishing information as well as a description of the book. Unless otherwise stated, the book description is taken from the publisher’s website or the book jacket. Selected titles from this list will be chosen for a full review in forthcoming issues of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books. Previous books received are available from the links below.
|Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile, by David C. Brotherton & Luis Barrios. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2011. 384p.
“The 1996 U.S. Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act has led to the forcible deportation of tens of thousands of Dominicans from the United States. Following thousands of these individuals over a seven-year period, David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios use a unique combination of sociological and criminological reasoning to isolate the forces that motivate emigrants to leave their homeland and then commit crimes in the Unites States violating the very terms of their stay. Housed in urban landscapes rife with gangs, drugs, and tenuous working conditions, these individuals, the authors find, repeatedly play out a tragic scenario, influenced by long-standing historical injustices, punitive politics, and increasingly conservative attitudes undermining basic human rights and freedoms.
Brotherton and Barrios conclude that a simultaneous process of cultural inclusion and socioeconomic exclusion best explains the trajectory of emigration, settlement, and rejection, and they mark in the behavior of deportees the contradictory effects of dependency and colonialism: the seductive draw of capitalism typified by the American dream versus the material needs of immigrant life; the interests of an elite security state versus the desires of immigrant workers and families to succeed; and the ambitions of the Latino community versus the political realities of those designing crime and immigration laws, which disadvantage poor and vulnerable populations. Filled with riveting life stories and uncommon ethnographic research, this volume relates the modern deportee’s journey to broader theoretical studies in transnationalism, assimilation, and social control.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The Chicago Trunk Murder: Law and Justice at the Turn of the Century, by Elizabeth Dale. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2011. 188p.
“On November 14, 1885, a cold autumn day in the City of Broad Shoulders, an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred watched as three Sicilians Giovanni Azari, Agostino Gelardi, and Ignazio Silvestri were hanged in the courtyard of the Cook County Jail. The three had only recently come to the city, but not long after they were arrested, tried, and convicted for murdering Filippo Caruso, stuffing his body into a trunk, and shipping it to Pittsburgh.
Historian and legal expert Elizabeth Dale brings the Trunk Murder case vividly back to life, painting an indelible portrait of nineteenth-century Chicago, ethnic life there, and a murder trial gone seriously awry. Along the way she reveals a Windy City teeming with street peddlers, crooked cops, earnest reformers, and legal activists—all of whom play a part in this gripping tale. Chicago’s Trunk Murder shows how the defendants in the case were arrested on dubious evidence and held, some for weeks, without access to lawyers or friends. The accused finally confessed after being interrogated repeatedly by men who did not speak their language. They were then tried before a judge who had his own view and ruled accordingly. Chicago’s Trunk Murder revisits these abject breaches of justice and uses them to consider much larger problems in late nineteenth century criminal law. Written with a storyteller’s flair for narrative and brimming with historical detail, this book will be must reading for true crime buffs and aficionados of Chicago lore alike.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Crime and Economics: An Introduction. by Kevin Albertson and Chris Fox. London, UK; New York, NY: Routledge, 2012. 318p.
The economics of crime is an area of growing activity and concern, increasingly influential both to the study of crime and criminal justice and to the formulation of crime reduction and criminal justice policy. As well as providing an overview of the relationship between economics and crime, this book poses key questions such as: What is the impact of the labour market and poverty on crime? Can society decrease criminal activity from a basis of economic disincentives? What forms of crime reduction and methods of reducing re-offending are most cost beneficial? Can illicit organised crime and illicit drug markets be understood better through the application of economic analysis?
For those interested in economic methods, but without previous economic training, this book also provides an accessible overview of key areas such as cost-benefit analysis, econometrics and the debate around how to estimate the costs of crime.
|Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour and Schools, edited by Carol Hayden & Denise Martin. Basingstoke, UK; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 256p.
“The behavior and safety of children and young people in and around schools is a topic of world-wide concern. From school shootings and deaths on school premises to the everyday behavior of young people in school, this book explores what is happening in schools in Britain and links it with evidence from elsewhere in the world.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Emotions, Crime and Justice. edited by Susanne Karstedt, Ian Loader, & Heather Strang. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2011. 394p.
The return of emotions to debates about crime and criminal justice has been a striking development of recent decades across many jurisdictions. This has been registered in the return of shame to justice procedures, a heightened focus on victims and their emotional needs, fear of crime as a major preoccupation of citizens and politicians, and highly emotionalised public discourses on crime and justice. But how can we best make sense of these developments? Do we need to create “emotionally intelligent” justice systems, or are we messing recklessly with the rational foundations of liberal criminal justice?
This volume brings together leading criminologists and sociologists from across the world in a much needed conversation about how to re-calibrate reason and emotion in crime and justice today. The contributions range from the micro-analysis of emotions in violent encounters to the paradoxes and tensions that arise from the emotionalisation of criminal justice in the public sphere. They explore the emotional labour of workers in police and penal institutions, the justice experiences of victims and offenders, and the role of vengeance, forgiveness and regret in the aftermath of violence and conflict resolution. The result is a set of original essays which offer a fresh and timely perspective on problems of crime and justice in contemporary liberal democracies.
|The Gender of Crime, by Dana M. Britton. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2011. 192p.
“The Gender of Crime introduces students to how gender shapes our understanding of every aspect of crime. Moving beyond criminological theories and research that have often neglected gender, this dynamic and provocative book shows that gender is central to the definition, prosecution, and sentencing of crimes, that it shapes how victimization is experienced and understood, and that it structures the institutions of the criminal justice system and the experiences of workers within that system.
Discussing the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality with crime and punishment, this book demonstrates that crime, victimization, and crime control are never generic—they are instead produced and experienced by gendered (and race, and classed, and sexualized) actors within contexts of social inequality. This book highlights key concepts for students and encourages them to think critically through a range of compelling real-life examples, from school violence to corporate crime. The Gender of Crime provides essential reading for students of gender, criminology, and criminal justice alike.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Handbook on the Shadow Economy, edited by Friedrich Schneider. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2011. 544p.
“The shadow economy (also known as the black or underground economy) covers a vast array of trade, goods and services that are not part of the official economy of a country. This original and comprehensive Handbook presents the latest research on the size and development of the shadow economy, which remains an integral component of the economies of most developing and many developed countries.
The volume explores the driving forces behind the shadow economy and highlights important regional variations. The expert authors address the whole spectrum of issues including tax morale, government institutions, corruption and illicit work. Importantly the book also examines recent progress in how the shadow economy is measured and estimated.
This well-documented and authoritative study will appeal to economists and researchers, as well as academics and students in the fields of economics, political science and social science. It will also be of interest to anyone seeking a comprehensive investigation into the workings of the shadow economy.” (From the Publisher’s Website)
|The Immorality of Punishment, by Michael J. Zimmerman. Ontario, Canada; Buffalo, NY: Broadview Press, 2011. 192p.
“In The Immorality of Punishment Michael Zimmerman argues forcefully that not only our current practice but indeed any practice of legal punishment is deeply morally repugnant, no matter how vile the behaviour that is its target. Despite the fact that it may be difficult to imagine a state functioning at all, let alone well, without having recourse to punishing those who break its laws, Zimmerman makes a timely and compelling case for the view that we must seek and put into practice alternative means of preventing crime and promoting social stability.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Last Day on Earth: A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter, by Davis Vann. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011, 184p.
“On Valentine’s Day 2008, Steve Kazmierczak killed five and wounded eighteen at Northern Illinois University, then killed himself. But he was an A student, a Deans’ Award winner. How could this happen?
CNN could not get the story. The Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and all others came up empty because Steve’s friends and professors knew very little. He had reinvented himself in his final five years. But David Vann, investigating for Esquire, went back to Steve’s high school and junior high friends, found a life perfectly shaped for mass murder, and gained full access to the entire 1,500 pages of the police files. The result: the most complete portrait we have of any school shooter. But Vann doesn’t stop there. He recounts his own history with guns, contemplating a school shooting. This book is terrifying and true, a story you’ll never forget.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Living the Drama: Community, Conflict, and Culture among Inner-City Boys, by David J. Harding. Chicago, IL; London, UK: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. 336p.
“For the middle class and the affluent, local ties seem to matter less and less these days, but in the inner city, your life can be irrevocably shaped by what block you live on. Living the Drama takes a close look at three neighborhoods in Boston to analyze the many complex ways that the context of community shapes the daily lives and long-term prospects of inner-city boys.
David J. Harding studied sixty adolescent boys growing up in two very poor areas and one working-class area. In the first two, violence and neighborhood identification are inextricably linked as rivalries divide the city into spaces safe, neutral, or dangerous. Consequently, Harding discovers, social relationships are determined by residential space. Older boys who can navigate the dangers of the streets serve as role models, and friendships between peers grow out of mutual protection. The impact of community goes beyond the realm of same-sex bonding, Harding reveals, affecting the boys’ experiences in school and with the opposite sex. A unique glimpse into the world of urban adolescent boys, Living the Drama paints a detailed, insightful portrait of life in the inner city.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Material Detention Conditions, Execution of Custodial Sentences and Prisoner Transfer in the EU Member States, by Gert Vermeulen, Anton van Kalmthout, Neil Paterson, Marije Knapen, Peter Verbeke, & Wendy De Bondt. Antwerp, BD; Prtland, OR: Maklu –Publishers, 2011. 1008p.
The introduction in 2008 of the Framework Decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgements in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union sparked discussions as to whether the practical operation of the instrument would be compatible with its very objective, being the enhancement of detained persons’ social rehabilitation prospects.
Transferring detained people back to their respective Member State of residence and/or nationality within the mutual recognition framework is somewhat precarious in light of the often substantial variety of Member States’ legal and prison systems. In this context, and following a call for tender by the European Commission, the authors conducted the biggest study to date on Member States’ material detention conditions, early/conditional release provisions and sentence execution modalities. In addition to exploring the diversity of legal frameworks, the study also assessed practitioners’ views on cross border execution of custodial sentences in the EU.
This book contains the individual Member State reports resulting from the legal and practitioners’ analyses, backed by additional information drawn from monitoring and evaluation conducted at Council of Europe (Committee for the Prevention of Torture) and United Nation levels.
This is essential reading for EU policy makers, judicial and law enforcement authorities and for defence lawyers throughout the Union. Undoubtedly, this book will be an asset to everyone who is involved in or taking an interest in detention issues and cross border execution of judgements involving deprivation of liberty in the EU.
|Measuring Crime & Criminality: Advances in Criminological Theory (Vol. 17), edited by John MacDonald. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2011. 403p.
“Measuring Crime and Criminality focuses on how different approaches to measuring crime and criminality are used to test existing criminological theories. Each chapter reviews a key approach for measuring criminal behavior and discusses its strengths or weaknesses for explaining the facts of crime or answers to central issues of criminological inquiry. The book describes the state of the field on different approaches for measuring crime and criminality as seen by prominent scholars in the field.
Among the featured contributions are: The Use of Official Reports and Victimization Data for Testing Criminological Theories; The Design and Analysis of Experiments in Criminology; and Growth Curve/Mixture Models for Measuring Criminal Careers. Also included are papers titled: Counterfactual Methods of Causal Inference and Their Application to Criminology; Measuring Gene-Environment Interactions in the Cause of Antisocial Behavior and What Has Been Gained and Lost through Longitudinal Research and Advanced Statistical Models?
This volume of Advances in Criminological Theory illustrates how understanding the various ways criminal behavior is measured is useful for developing theoretical insights on the causes of crime.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Multicultural Girlhood: Racism, Sexuality, and the Conflicted Spaces of American Education, by Mary E. Thomas. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2011. 216p.
“High school turf wars are often a teenage rite of passage, but there are extremes—as when a race riot at a Los Angeles campus in the spring of 2005 resulted in a police lockdown. In her fascinating book, Multicultural Girlhood, Mary Thomas interviewed 26 Latina, Armenian, Filipina, African-American, and Anglo girls at this high school to gauge their responses to the campus violence. They all denounced the outbreak, calling for multicultural understanding and peaceful coexistence.
However, as much as the girls want everyone to just “get along,” they also exhibit strong racist beliefs and validate segregated social spaces on campus and beyond. How can teenagers and “girl power” work together to empower instead of alienate multicultural groups? In her perceptive book, Thomas foregrounds the spaces of teen girlhood and the role that space plays in girls’ practices that perpetuate social difference, and she explains the ways we navigate the intellectual terrain between scholarship and school yard.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Murder, Medicine and Motherhood,by Emma Cunliffe. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2011. 246p.
“Since the early 1990s, unexplained infant death has been reformulated as a criminal justice problem within many western societies. This shift has produced wrongful convictions in more than one jurisdiction. This book uses a detailed case study of the murder trial and appeals of Kathleen Folbigg to examine the pragmatics of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It explores how legal process, medical knowledge and expectations of motherhood work together when a mother is charged with killing infants who have died in mysterious circumstances. The author argues that Folbigg, who remains in prison, was wrongly convicted.
The book also employs Folbigg’s trial and appeals to consider what lessons courts have learned from prior wrongful convictions, such as those of Sally Clark and Angela Cannings. The author’s research demonstrates that the Folbigg court was misled about the state of medical knowledge regarding infant death, and that the case proceeded on the incorrect assumption that behavioural and scientific evidence provided independent proofs of guilt. Individual chapters critically assess the relationships between medical research and expert testimony; the operation of unexamined cultural assumptions about good mothering; and the manner in which contested cases are reported by the press as overwhelming.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The Origins of American Criminology: Advances in Criminological Theory (Vol. 16), edited by Francis T. Cullen, Cheryl Leo Jonson, Andrew Myer, & Freda Adler. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2011. 433p.
“The Origins of American Criminology is an invaluable resource. Both separately and together, these essays capture the stories behind the invention of criminology’s major theoretical perspectives. They preserve information that otherwise would have been lost. There is urgency to embark on this reflective task given that the generation that defined the field for the past decades is heading into retirement. This fine volume insures that their life experiences will not be forgotten.
The volume shows criminology to be a human enterprise. Ideas are not driven primarily—and often not at all—by data. Theories are not invented solely as part of the scientific process; they are not inevitable. American criminology’s great theories most often precede the collection of data; they guide and produce empirical inquiry, not vice versa. Theoretical paradigms are shaped by a host of factors—scholars’ assumptions about the world drawn from their social constructs, disciplinary content and ideology, cognitive environments found in specific universities and the field’s scholarly networks, and, quirks in a person’s biography.
The volume demonstrates that humanity is what makes theory possible. Diverse experiences—when we were born, where we have lived, the unique trajectories of our personal life courses, the disciplines and academic places we have ended up—allow individual scholars to see the world differently.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Overcoming the Magnetism of Street Life: Crime-Engaged Youth and the Programs that Transform Them, by Trevor B. Milton. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011. 162p.
“This is a story of crime-engaged youth who have been given a second chance. New York City teens are often faced with conditions that lead to poor education, deprived job opportunities, and a savage cycle of incarceration. But they are almost always faced with a choice. Teens from deprived neighborhoods face an arduous crossroad: should they a) walk the glamorous path of street culture, whose unlawful codas channels them towards fast money, instant gratification, and irretractable respect? Or b) make the steep climb through carceral traps, structural deprivation, and sometimes peer ridicule, in order to achieve legitimate success?
This book is also the story of the non-profit community organizations that recognize the difficulty of this decision. To the many that are unfamiliar with New York’s poorest neighborhoods, living a ‘crime-free lifestyle’ is an obvious and easy choice. According to this thinking, those who violate our legal codes should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, no matter the circumstances that led to their unlawful behavior. Throughout the city, there are a small number of alternative-to-incarceration programs designed to give crime-engaged youth a second chance to walk the path of legitimate success. They attempt to fill the void left behind by a poor opportunity structure.
This book is a detailed ethnographic account of a select group of teens in New York City, the deprived conditions they face on a daily basis, and the alternative-to-incarceration programs that try to turn their lives around. Included will be the accounts of teens that faced the arduous crossroad and four programs that attempted to teach a set of skills necessary for a crime-free lifestyle: a set of skills that I call a social survival kit.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Police Custody: Governance, Legitimacy and Reform in the Criminal Justice Process, by Layla Skinns. Oxon, UK; New York, NY: Willan Publising, 2010. 254p.
“Police custody acts as an important gateway to the criminal justice process. Much is at stake here for both staff and suspects as what happens in police custody can have important consequences further down the line. This book offers a timely contribution to research on police custody, which has been largely neglected for the last decade, and it is the first to examine the growing role given to civilians employed by the police or by private security companies within police custody areas.
The book draws on a mixed-method study of two custody areas, one publicly-run, and the other largely privately-run. This empirical analysis explores anew suspects’ experiences of police custody from arrest to charge, including their access to due process rights such as phone calls, legal advice and detention reviews, as well as shedding light on the hitherto unexplored working relationships between the police, civilian police staff (public and private), legal advisers, doctors, appropriate adults and drug workers.
These findings on the police custody process are used to examine pertinent socio-legal and theoretical matters connected to due process, the role of the police in policing, as well as procedural justice and legitimacy.
The book integrates issues which are topical and of utmost empirical, theoretical and political significance, meaning that it is likely to have a broad appeal to students, academics, practitioners and policy-makers with an interest in the criminal justice process, policing and the sociology of law.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Police Reform in China, by Kam C. Wong. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012. 413p.
“With nearly 20 percent of the world’s population located in China, what happens there is significant to all nations. Sweeping changes have altered the cultural landscape of China, and as opportunities for wealth have grown in recent years, so have opportunities for crime. Police Reform in China provides a rare and insightful glimpse of policing in the midst of such change.
The book begins with a historical account of police reform in the region since 2000. Next, it discusses the difficulties encountered in trying to understand Chinese policing, such as outdated perceptions, misinformation, cultural ignorance, ideological hegemony, and problems with paternalistic attitudes. The book recommends studying China from a local perspective informed by local research and data, suggesting that understanding China requires a cultural shift to the Chinese way of life in “thinking” and, more importantly, “feeling.”
The author then summarizes selected policy papers from Gongan Yanjiu, a leading international policy journal. He first documents how the thinking and aspirations of various generations of Chinese leaders from Mao to Deng, and now Jiang and Hu, came to affect Chinese policing in theory and practice. He then addresses the emergence of a police legitimacy crisis as evidenced by the deterioration of public image and rebellions against police authority. Demonstrating how old ideologies are increasingly in conflict with the values and lifestyles of a new mentality, the book discusses steps that can be taken to improve professionalism. The final chapters investigate such problems as abuses of discretion and the improper use of firearms and highlight the importance of understanding the Chinese people, culture, values, and interests in order to truly effectuate successful police reform.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Prison Policy in Ireland: Politics, Penal-Welfarism and Political Imprisonment, by Mary Rogan. London; New York: Routledge, 2011. 264p.
“This book is the first examination of the history of prison policy in Ireland. Despite sharing a legal and penal heritage with the United Kingdom, Ireland’s prison policy has taken a different path. This book examines how penal-welfarism was experienced in Ireland, shedding further light on the nature of this concept as developed by David Garland. While the book has an Irish focus, it has a theoretical resonance far beyond Ireland.
This book investigates and describes prison policy in Ireland since the foundation of the state in 1922, analyses and assesses the factors influencing policy during this period and explores and examines the links between prison policy and the wider social, economic, political and cultural development of the Irish state.
It also explores how Irish prison policy has come to take on its particular character, with comparatively low prison numbers, significant reliance on short sentences and a policy-making climate in which long periods of neglect are interspersed with bursts of political activity all prominent features.
This book will be of special interest to students of criminology within Ireland, but also of relevance to students of comparative criminal justice, criminology and criminal justice policy making in the UK and beyond.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Residential Burglary: How the Urban Environment and Our Lifestyles Play a Contributing Role (3rd ed),by George F. Rengert & Elizabeth R. Groff. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd., 2011. 254p.
“This updated and expanded new edition continues its unique approach and engrossing exploration of the elements of residential burglary. Presented in five parts, the first is concerned with what is on a burglar’s mind when he or she considers whether to commit a burglary and which house to choose. The second part is concerned with time and the opportunities and limits it places on both burglar and victim, while the third section probes how burglaries are fit into space and the importance of perception of space in the burglary process. The fourth section describes how burglars select a home to burglarize and uses Greenwich, Connecticut as a model to contrast target and nontarget homes. The fifth part reviews some of the “nuts and bolts” techniques and reasons for their use as described by burglars and addresses elements about housing architecture, the burglary process, and offers suggestions for controlling the problem of burglary. It concludes with a discussion of changes in our lifestyles and communities and how these changes will play out in future patterns of residential burglary. The authors draw on in-depth interviews with admitted burglars, and the inclusion of the ideas and actual words of the burglars brings the material to life. The text continues to offer the most unique overview of residential burglary. It combines ethnographic research with study of official records and combines the strengths of both approaches.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Shutting Down the Streets: Political Violence and Social Control in the Global Era, by Amory Starr, Luis Fernandez, & Christian Scholl. New York, NY; London, UK: New York University Press, 2011. 216p.
“Recently, a wall was built in eastern Germany. Made of steel and cement blocks, topped with razor barbed wire, and reinforced with video monitors and movement sensors, this wall was not put up to protect a prison or a military base, but rather to guard a three-day meeting of the finance ministers of the Group of Eight (G8). The wall manifested a level of security that is increasingly commonplace at meetings regarding the global economy. The authors of Shutting Down the Streets have directly observed and participated in more than 20 mass actions against global in North America and Europe, beginning with the watershed 1999 WTO meetings in Seattle and including the 2007 G8 protests in Heiligendamm. Shutting Down the Streets is the first book to conceptualize the social control of dissent in the era of alterglobalization. Based on direct observation of more than 20 global summits, the book demonstrates that social control is not only global, but also preemptive, and that it relegates dissent to the realm of criminality. The charge is insurrection, but the accused have no weapons. The authors document in detail how social control forecloses the spaces through which social movements nurture the development of dissent and effect disruptive challenges.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Space of Detention: The Making of a Transnational Gang Crisis between Los Angeles and San Salvador, by Elana Zilberg. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 360p.
“Space of Detention is a powerful ethnographic account and spatial analysis of the “transnational gang crisis” between the United States and El Salvador. Elana Zilberg seeks to understand how this phenomenon became an issue of central concern for national and regional security, and how La Mara Salvatrucha, a gang founded by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles, came to symbolize the “gang crime–terrorism continuum.” She follows Salvadoran immigrants raised in Los Angeles, who identify as—or are alleged to be—gang members and who are deported back to El Salvador after their incarceration in the United States. Analyzing zero-tolerance gang-abatement strategies in both countries, Zilberg shows that these measures help to produce the very transnational violence and undocumented migration that they are intended to suppress. She argues that the contemporary fixation with Latino immigrant and Salvadoran street gangs, while in part a product of media hype, must also be understood in relation to the longer history of U.S. involvement in Central America, the processes of neoliberalism and globalization, and the intersection of immigration, criminal, and antiterrorist law. These forces combine to produce what Zilberg terms “neoliberal securityscapes.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War, by John Gibler. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Publishers, 2011. 200p.
“Combining on the ground reporting and in-depth discussions with people on the frontlines of Mexico’s drug war, To Die in Mexico tells behind the scenes stories that address the causes and consequences of Mexico’s multibillion-dollar drug-trafficking business. Gibler tells the hair raising stories of a Mexican journalist kidnapped, interrogated and threatened with death by the Gulf Cartel before being miraculously released; family members of people killed in the conflict; survivors of assassination attempts and massacres; along with crime-beat photographers, funeral parlor workers, government officials, convicted traffickers, cab drivers and others who find themselves working against, with, or for the drug cartels. Gibler sees beyond the cops-and-robbers myths that pervade government and media portrayals of the unprecedented wave of violence and looks to the people of Mexico for solutions to the crisis now pushing Mexico to the breaking point.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|‘What Else Could I Do?’ Single Mothers and Infanticide, Ireland 1900-1950, by Clíona Rattigan. Dublin, Ireland; Portland, OR: Irish Academic Press, 2012. 288p.
“This powerful book explores the history of single mothers and infanticide in Ireland over a 50 year period. Based primarily on underused archival material from the Central Criminal Court in the National Archives of Ireland, ‘What Else Could I Do?’ provides a detailed analysis of the diverse experiences of unmarried mothers who faced criminal charges because they were suspected of having committed infanticide. Although statistics relating to female perpetrators of serious forms of crime are examined, the history of single women who killed their illegitimate infants cannot be understood through official numbers alone. The book undertakes a detailed case-by-case analysis of the records of over 300 infanticide cases tried in Ireland – both North and South – during the first half of the 20th century. This timely study will make an important contribution to historical scholarship and adds considerably to existing knowledge of female criminal behavior in Ireland. It is also a major contribution to the historical understanding of gender relations, class, sexuality, and family life.” (From Publisher’s Website)